Saturday, James Franklin’s team will take on No. 2 Ohio State at home as a part of the first Big Noon Kickoff in Happy Valley. It will also be the annual stripe out game.
Here’s a breakdown of the latest AP Poll, and how it impacts Penn State Football
Key Movements in the Poll
The biggest mover in this week’s poll was LSU jumping from unranked to No. 18 in the country after their blowout win over then No. 7 Ole Miss over the weekend. Penn State Football, and Wake Forest were the other two biggest movers each up three spots. South Carolina was the other new entry to the poll coming in at No. 25 after their win over Texas A&M.
Ole Miss fell the most this week dropping 8 spots from No. 7 to No. 15 after their blowout loss to LSU. Texas fell out of the Top 25 from No. 20 after their loss to Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, Kansas State fell 5 spots to No. 22 after their loss to TCU. Mississippi State exits the poll this week after their blowout loss to Alabama.
What will it take for Penn State to move up in the poll?
The Nittany Lions will have a chance this weekend to avenge their ranked game woes.
Penn State Football has not defeated a Top-10 team since the 2016 season, and will have another opportunity when No. 2 Ohio State (7-0) comes to Beaver Stadium for the annual stripe out and Big Noon Kickoff.
Obviously, if Penn State Football comes away with the upset win, they would skyrocket in the polls and it would also set them up very well in the first iteration of the CFP rankings that come out the following Tuesday.
This game will dictate whether Penn State Football is still in the conference title race, and if a playoff or New Year’s 6 bowl are still in play. A close loss to Ohio State could still mean a 10-2 season and a New Year’s 6 bowl appearance if they won out after. But, right now, a better season is still in front of Penn State if they pull off the upset.
Key Games to watch Week 9:
No. 9 Oklahoma State @ No. 22 Kansas State 3:30pm/FOX
Oklahoma is back in the top 10 after their big win over No. 20 Texas last weekend. They will have another tough task this week against a scrappy Kansas State team who is coming off a loss at TCU. This will be a close matchup that should have Oklahoma State on upset alert. Both teams are 3-1 in conference and look to keep pace with TCU in the chase for a Big 12 championship game appearance. Oklahoma State enters the week as a 1-point home favorite.
No. 19 Kentucky @ No. 3 Tennessee 7:00pm/ESPN
This will be the first real test for the Volunteers after beating Alabama 2 weeks ago. They took care of UT Martin rather easily this past weekend and will now welcome another rival to town when former PSU quarterback and Kentucky enter Neyland Stadium. Kentucky will look to regain their footing in the increasingly tougher SEC East and upset the hot streaking Volunteers.
This will be another measuring stick game for Tennessee to see how serious of a playoff and title contender they really are. The Volunteers enter the game as a 12.5-point home favorite.
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